What began as an obsession with lip gloss when Zandra was just 9 years old has blossomed into a booming business. Want to know how you can secure those coins on your own terms, too? Peep these gems from the beauty boss herself:
1. Confidence Is A Must-Have
The most important lesson would have to be being an entrepreneur, you have to be confident in yourself and your product and your business and whatever it is that you’re doing.
In the beginning stages of building her company, Zandra sought feedback on her products from family members and existing customers who were very honest about what they liked and didn’t like. Tbh, criticism can sting, but you must believe in yourself and your business to help push through those tough days. “Confidence is necessary regardless of age, creed, or color; however, it’s critical for teens of color,” Zandra says. “We have to work extra hard to show up correct … we will have to manage self-doubt, naysayers, and negativity on the regular. Knowing who you are is a must. It’s important to sharpen [your] skills and business acumen, so [your] capabilities will never be in question.”
2. Collaboration Over Competition
You need healthy competition, but not competition to the point where it’s like, ‘I’m not going to talk to you because you sell [the same products I do].’ Be open to talking to people who’ve been through experiences, learning from them and not repeating the same mistakes.
When Zandra is looking to collab with someone, she makes sure to approach people or brands that can enhance her existing offerings and help spread her message to her target market — other teens. A recent partnership? Her book The Science Behind It: Formulating Success At Any Age, which featured 26 other young entrepreneurs, who shared their own business journeys and insights. “Many of them became first-time authors, launched their brands, and made more money than ever just from that one collaboration. It was amazing,” she shares. “Collaboration moves people, dreams, and movements forward. Connecting with those [who] have been where you are trying to go or are on the same road can completely change the journey for a young entrepreneur. Look how many bottled waters there are, how many breads or sodas. They all manage to stand out from the crowd. They compete in a healthy way yet appeal to their niche specifically.”
3. Communication Is Key
As teens, we have to show up ready, mature, and willing to have tough conversations like the bosses we want to be seen as … we have to show up ready talk real grown folks’ business.
You’ll want to make sure your entire team is on the same page first before beginning anything. Draw up an official business plan and contract clearly spelling out everyone’s roles to avoid confusion around who’s doing what further down the line. Having regular check-ins also helps keep things running smoothly. “When breakdowns happen, we have to learn how to listen to all sides [and] approach conflicts with love and understanding,” Zandra says. “I have learned so much by just listening to other points of view. Other times, what feels like a breakdown is actually a misunderstanding that can be resolved with a break, good food, and an open mind.”
4. (Self) Care Is Crucial
Really just chilling and relaxing my mind and body.
Just because you’re the boss doesn’t mean you can’t take a break. And if you’re traveling 200 days of the year for speaking engagements and workshops like Zandra, incorporating self-care into your daily routine is just as important as getting that paycheck. “Honestly, self-care is sleeping in until I feel like I want to wake up, watching Netflix or going out with my friends, [and] hanging with my siblings,” she says. “Sometimes we don’t see each other all the time [so] it’s fulfilling to me and makes me happy.”
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This is a portion of an article that originally appeared in Sesi’s Summer 2019 issue. Subscribe here to get the current issue, on sale now.